From the Kitchen – Chicken Fajitas and a bad movie to go

When I was growing up, rather than listening to the rock and roll of the 80s, I was listening to soundtracks.  For whatever reason, the rock that I love now just wasn’t interesting then.  My brother listened to it, and his dear sister had to allay his fears that listening to rock wasn’t “Satanic”.  He and my mom were all a-twitter about the Latin on one of White Snake’s albums.  “< sigh >. Serpens Alba means “white snake”. It’s nothing “satanic”.”  🙂

Ming and Aura.Aura's dress. I want.
Ming and Aura.
Aura’s dress. I want.

One of the soundtracks I got was the soundtrack to Flash Gordon. I bought it without seeing the movie because of ads in various SF magazines and reading the old comics in a compliation from the library. I hadn’t much knowledge of this group called “Queen”. (and it took another few years to realize why they were called “Queen”. Yes, I was ridiculously naïve in some ways).  But I loved it, merrily singing “Flash! Ah-aaaaaah, savior of the Universe!”  I also got the novelization. It was quite a few years later until I actually saw the movie.    

It’s pure pulp; immensely cheesy but wonderful cheese and more bugle beads in one place than has ever been seen since. The actors seemed to have a great time chewing the scenery and Brian Blessed is at his bombastic best as Vultan (he would have made such a good Volstagg). I think my favorite character is Klytus, the head of Ming’s secret police.  Even behind a gold mask, he’s still silky and dangerous.  The movie was produced by Dino De Laurentiis and I’m sure that his daughter, Raffaella, has a lot to do with it getting made, considering her filmography, which includes Dune, Kull the Conqueror, etc. She’s also Giada De Laurentiis’ “Aunt Raffy” who occasionally shows up on her cooking shows.  

What a convenient segue to the dinner portion….. 

veggiesAn age ago, circa 1992, before I totally succumbed to an addiction for cookbooks and was only just starting as a good cook, I only had about three.  One was “365 Easy One Dish Meals” by Haughton.  It’s out of print, but it does have some worthwhile recipes.  My husband and I both love the “Stir-fry Chicken Fajitas”.  They are not the same as you’d get on a sizzling planchet in a Tex-Mex restaurant but I like them much better. I’m sure the recipe could be modified for that if you’d prefer. You may cut down the cayenne if you don’t like things fairly hot. 

Stir-fry Chicken Fajitas

5 tbsp veg oil

2 tbsp butter

¼ c lime juice (fresh if you got it, but bottled works fine. This is what makes the difference from any supposed fajita recipe without it)

½ tsp ground cumin

1 tsp cumin seeds, coarsely crushed

¼ tsp ground cayenne aka red hot pepper (less if you want less heat)

2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into thin strips (also works with beef or shrimp)

2 red bell peppers cut into thin strips

2 orange bell peppers cut into thin strips

2 green bell peppers cut into thin strips

4 medium onions cut into a thin slice

5 garlic cloves minced

½ tsp black pepper

Marinade:  Put 3 tbsp of oil, lime juice, cumin (both kinds) and cayenne into bowl. Mix raw chicken in.  Marinade for 3-4 hours. 

Put remaining oil with 1 tbsp of butte in wok (or a big skillet/stew pot if that’s all you have).  Turn heat to high.  Cook meat and marinade together.  When the chicken is opaque, remove meat from wok.  Let marinade cook down, way down, until it’s a thick sauce.  Put in black pepper. 

Then put veggies in on top of sauce. Stir to coat.  Cook until veggies are tender. Placing a lid on the wok helps this process by trapping steam.  Pull veg to sides of wok, add second tbsp of butter to well in the center, and let remaining juices cook down again into a thick sauce.    Return chicken to wok and mix to reheat.  We often let the meat and veg get a little brown for more flavor.  

fajitaServe with warmed tortillas (we like flour ones since they come in larger sizes than most corn ones), sour cream, salsa, avocados, cheddar cheese, refried beans, pretty much anything you’d like.  I roll mine like a burrito but it inevitably bursts since I’m greedy. Of course, a beer goes nicely with these. I’d suggest something relatively light.  In color and taste, not that gawdawful “lite” stuff.

Eat well!

7 thoughts on “From the Kitchen – Chicken Fajitas and a bad movie to go

  1. I watched Flash Gordon again just the other day, and loved it, again. A Kull poster used to adorn my bedroom… i thought the redhead was the most beautiful thing i’d ever seen.

    A bazillion point points for finding a way from good/bad sci fi films into a recipe 😉


  2. I like cooking but what I do wouldn’t get to a recipe, I improvise as occasion demands and now when you talk of growing up in the 80s I wasn’t around then, in a serious way that is, but have grown up to like music done in the 60s, 70s 80s and classical music done in the previous centuries 🙂


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